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Brands and Distilleries : Gordon & MacPhail

Issue 142 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 142

The best whiskies in the world 2017, Icons of Whisky Global winners and the conclusion to this year's Battle of the Blends

 

Gordon & MacPhail

Gordon & MacPhail Aberfeldy 1978
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Delicate but not bland. Real subtlety. Very mature, but not a hint of wood. A Highlander, but blindfold I would have placed it as a Speysider.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1985
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 I have always thought of Ardmore as having a rather bluff character, but on this occasion I found it both welcoming and comforting.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1987
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Very elegant and fragrant. As an apéritif with melon, basil and Parma ham.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A pleasant dram, especially with a splash of water but lacks nerve and buoyancy.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1990 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.80%
7 Starts slowly, and seems uncertain as to where it is going.

Gordon & MacPhail Ardmore 1990, Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.80%
7 A hidden complexity on the palate. A malt to give you a tender kick on “one of those days, you know…”

Gordon & MacPhail Balblair 1966
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 The nose is rich and harmonious. The palate not so lavish, somewhat dulled by wood dominating. It would have shown better at a higher strength.

Gordon & MacPhail 10 Years Old Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 59.90%
7 Fresh and vibrant. Attractive.

Gordon & MacPhail 18 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 The best Benromach I have tasted. I wonder what she should expect in a few years from the new stillhouse.

Gordon & MacPhail 1973
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 After a weekend walk in the country? Mid to late afternoon. Who needs tea? Just a slice of fruit pie and a generous dram of Benromach.

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 1974
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 I have always found Benromach assertively flowery, herbal, almost cedary. Will this highly distinctive character prevail in the new, smaller, stills introduced since the change of ownership? Tastings...

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 1980
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.60%
7 A wake up dram. Not a great deal of complexity but an enjoyable fruitiness to make you think of springtime.

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach 22 Years Old, Port Wood Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00%
7 Should the pink tangerine blush of this whisky hint at Bacchus? He may have glanced at the cask, but I can't find him in the glass.

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach Peat Smoke
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
7 Once the middle fills out will be a lovely addition to the range.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach Sassicaia Wood Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00%
8 A success.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Benromach Traditional
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 This one really does have subtlety. A lovely, delicate aperitif.

Gordon & MacPhail Bladnoch 1991
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.80%
7 The nose is unusual, closer to a sour Chinese broth than a whisky! But the palate restores an expected floral Lowland freshness.

Gordon & MacPhail Bowmore 25 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
1 Old age has completely integrated peat and smoke. Oak overpowers the marine character. A splash of water does not help.

Gordon & MacPhail Bunnahabhain 1989
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 A breakfast whisky for the truly decadent.

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 1969
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00%
3 Surprisingly, the distillery character resists in this oldie. And peat “revisits” the aromatic palette. Integration again but no fusion.

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 1981
Single Malt - Scotland - 62.70%
7 A beautifully balanced, rounded, example of this distinctive malt.

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.20%
8 Very decent example of Caol Ila, nothing jars here.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila 1991
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.40%
8 What you nose is what you get. A beautiful uncompromising version of Caol Ila. More enjoyable when neat.

Gordon & MacPhail Glenlivet 1973
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.90%
7 A dash of water is perfect. Skip the pudding and enjoy your dram with a shortbread.

Gordon & MacPhail Glenlivet 1973 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.90%
8 Some of the older Smith's Glenlivets are too woody for me, but this one is a delight.

Gordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage Smith's, Glenlivet 1974
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Somewhat lifeless and one-dimensional. Not the best old Glenlivet I've tasted.

Gordon & MacPhail Glentauchers 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
6 Sherry influence calls the tune. Water calms the flavours down.

Gordon & MacPhail Glenugie 1968, 43 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00%
7 Oak is not as prevailing on the nose as on the palate. An exotic profile. Reminds me of Irish whiskey. Interesting richness. Avoid water.

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Calder
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
7 On the sweet side, although the finish brings out a more assertive note. A good winter warmer.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
9 Breath-takingly complex!

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1948
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 1948? Amazing. Has retained a refined almost raffish air and though frail is not overwooded.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1968
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 A ghost-like dram almost too elusive to grasp.

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Mhor 1979
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A hearty fellow, warming and expressive. A hip flask dram for a wet day.

Gordon & MacPhail Glen Scotia 1992 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 62.10%
7 Far from the best Glen Scotia, but I have always entertained a sneaky respect for this distillery.

Gordon & MacPhail Inverleven 1985
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Not much complexity, but an unusually summery whisky.

Gordon & MacPhail Inverleven 1986
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
6 Light, straightforward. Delicacy without mannerism. Keep it for a romantic candlelit dinner.

Gordon & MacPhail Inverleven 1990, 40 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00%
7 The nose is appealing but the palate far tougher. Water eases the release of grassy notes. But the aromatic profile keeps shallow.

Gordon & MacPhail Pride of Islay 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 More Islay character on the nose than on the palate. A good appetite-teaser.

Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 15 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 That malt could easily be thrown in a calvados blind tasting, with aged oaky individuals.

Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 1969
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Linkwood is a lovely whisky, especially in its older incarnations.

Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 1972
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 A luxurious afterdinner malt.

Gordon & MacPhail Linkwood 25 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A dour character which lifts up on the nose but not on the palate.

Gordon & MacPhail Longmorn-Glenlivet 12 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 The most honeyed Longmorn I have tasted. A breakfast malt.

Gordon & MacPhail Pride of the Lowlands 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Disappointingly on the wood side. For those who like it oaky!

Gordon & MacPhail Miltonduff 1968
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Remarkably scenty. Very clean indeed. Delicate for my tastes but if you like an elegant malt.....

Gordon & MacPhail Miltonduff 1993
Single Malt - Scotland - 61.80%
7 Lusty, voluptuous. Finishes with a bang.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1971
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00%
8 Magnificent in every way, especially the finish.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1938, 60 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 A great age, but it has matured beautifully.

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1951
Single Malt - Scotland - 42.00%
6 After dinner. Or with a re-run of Inspector Morse.

Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1980
Single Malt - Scotland - 63.80%
7 A lovely digestif whisky.

Gordon & MacPhail Old Pulteney 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 59.40%
7 The hug of sherry is soporific; the saltiness a stinging reviver. A morning run in Wick; a gale in John O'Groats.

Gordon & MacPhail Old Pulteney 1990 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.80%
7 So sherry… Dark Oloroso wipes out all maltiness. Unbalanced but sherry fanatics will love it.

Gordon & MacPhail Old Pulteney 8 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Tastes like Manzanilla to me. I don't speak for anyone else.

Gordon & MacPhail Pride of Orkney 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Very fragrant on the nose but more restrained in the mouth. Needs time to perk up.

Gordon & MacPhail Port Ellen 1982
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 A restrained example of this fine malt, but the silent still is almost out of stock. There will be few further opportunities to buy.

Gordon & MacPhail Scapa 1987
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A complex, delicate, well-balanced vintage.

Gordon & MacPhail Scapa 1988
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
6 I am not sure about that sulphur. Is it from the cask, or is it seaweedy? I usually like seaweed, but am not convinced by this bottling.

Gordon & MacPhail Strathisla 1960
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Strathisla has its own distinct, rather dry style-and this is a good example.

Gordon & MacPhail Pride of Strathspey 12 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Good introduction to Speyside's generosity. Especially if served with a crème brûlée.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Gordon & MacPhail St Magdalene 1975
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
8 Typically lowland, with a nice progression of sensation: sweet, malty then zingy.

Gordon & MacPhail Tamdhu 1981 Reserve
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 No, I don't think I was being suggestible. An unusually complex Tamdhu.

Gordon & MacPhail Teaninich 1983
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
7 Well worth sampling, but don't expect anything fancy. This is a workaday malt.

Gordon & MacPhail The Glenrothes 1965
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
8 Classic Speyside. Confident. Aristocratic.

Gordon & MacPhail The Macallan 1993 Speymalt
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Another unusual Macallan. Well-balanced. No sherry overload. Second-or third-fill maybe. Or a Fino cask?

    Ardmore Distillery
  • Kennethmont. Huntly. Aberdeenshire. Scotland. AB54 4NH
  • Tel : +44 1464 831 213
    Tamdhu Distillery
  • Knockando. Aberlour. Moray. Scotland. AB38 7RP
  • Tel : 01340 870221

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